Awards 2015: The best CD players and transports

With four separate Awards in the CD players and transports category, and prices ranging from £280 to £1050, our Product of the Year is the Cyrus CDi.

The CDi is a special player in the true Cyrus tradition. It continues to be the best we have heard anywhere near this price, and for that reason, it retains its Product of the Year title for another 12 months.

Our favourite budget CD player will also be familiar to readers: this is the third time in a row that the excellent Marantz CD6005 has won this Award.

The CD6005 is a superb product, with an aura of class. Its sonic presentation marries refinement and drama superbly, and has an understanding of the heart of the music.

Marantz’s domination is little short of miraculous. A year on, there’s still nothing at this price to better the CD6005 - it's simply the best budget CD player on the market.

A CD transport concentrates on reading the information held on a compact disc without expending effort in turning that digital signal into an analogue output, unlike a CD player. All you need to do is add (or already own) an external DAC.

The theory goes that using separate pieces of hi-fi kit to do individual jobs will provide a superior sound, and this is certainly the case with our winner in the Best CD budget transport category, the Cambridge Audio CXC.

This is a nicely made piece of equipment, and it looks and feels worth every penny of the £300 you’ll pay for it.

Cyrus scooped its second win in the Best CD transport over £500 category with its CD t, the latest addition to Cyrus’s long line of highly accomplished products.

Going straight to the top of its class, the Cyrus CD t delivers a fine performance that’s difficult to criticise at this price, demonstrating impressive accuracy, speed and precision without ever sounding clinical.

The Cyrus CD t is an exceptionally talented transport. Yes, you’ll need to add a good stand-alone DAC, but the CD t is worth the trouble. As well as offering an effortless, musical listen, the level of transparency, clarity and insight is unrivalled at this price.

MORE: Awards 2015: CD players and transports

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.